Why a Trip to Home Depot Made Me Cry

I needed seeds and tomato cages for the raised bed my husband just built for me. I also had dreams of another smaller raised bed filled with strawberries, so I also wanted to look at the strawberry plants.

My husband went into the store first while I waited in the van with our toddlers. When he got back, I excitedly headed towards the store. Upon reaching the door, I was stopped and told I had to enter through the other door—the door I had made a mental note to go through, the door I thought I was heading towards. They also said they’d be closing in 5 minutes. When I entered the store, through the other door, I was again told they’d be closing in 5 minutes.

I hurriedly grabbed my seeds and headed to the garden center to look for tomato cages. After going up and down the aisles, I spotted them. Outside. The gates to the outside were all closed. I walked to the self-checkout, paid for my seeds, and walked to the van feeling embarrassed, flustered, frustrated, and defeated.

If you know me, even casually, you probably know I am a rule follower. I read instruction manuals, employee handbooks, insurance policy info, and I’ve perused the latest executive orders, stay at home orders, and FAQs. I like to know what’s expected of me. I like to be prepared. I like to follow the rules and stay in the lines.

My experience at Home Depot made me long for the comforts of normal, for a world in which the rules aren’t changing every few days, for security, for ease in running errands, for the ability to bring my toddlers into the store with me, for the option of what door makes the most sense to enter through—for normal life. And while we’re at it, a trip to the zoo with friends or getting to sit around a table with my Monday night Bible study ladies or a road trip to visit my family would be fabulous. 💁🏻‍♀️

As uncomfortable and uncertain as things are currently, I need to remind myself that this is a season. Just as there are literal seasons that I’m not overly fond of (ahem, winter and late fall after the trees are bare), this is a season I’m not partial to. Just like winter eventually turns to spring, full of life and color, this season will also end, and life will again spring up and blossom all around us.

Take heart, this season will pass, and it will be “a time to embrace” again.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NASB

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